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Source: (consider it) Thread: Top Tips for worship leaders (and other public speaking situations)
Pigwidgeon

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quote:
Originally posted by The Intrepid Mrs S:
Well, guess what - the Archbishop of our link diocese in Uganda came in, 2 minutes before Evening Praise, with his memory stick and a whole selection of pictures!
[Killing me]

So did he say NO?
[Big Grin]

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"...that is generally a matter for Pigwidgeon, several other consenting adults, a bottle of cheap Gin and the odd giraffe."
~Tortuf

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
quote:
Originally posted by The Intrepid Mrs S:
Well, guess what - the Archbishop of our link diocese in Uganda came in, 2 minutes before Evening Praise, with his memory stick and a whole selection of pictures!
[Killing me]

So did he say NO?
[Big Grin]

Pigwidgeon - What do YOU think? No, of course he didn't - it was a lesson in the nature of 'serving/service'. HOWEVER, by relating that story on every possible occasion, he was able to warn people that ONLY an Archbishop could expect that level of 'service'!
[Two face]

Mrs S, still laughing

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'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Baptist Trainfan
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I did have to do something similar for an Artist who gave a lecture at our church one lunchtime. When she was setting up it was evident that all the pictures of her pictures (if you see what I mean) were in the wrong format - i.e. not Powerpoint.

While she had her lunch I beavered away reformatting them, however there were lots of them and I didn't have enough time to resize them all nor check the colour balance or order. So, when she showed them, they weren't as good as she (or I would have liked).

What p+ss+d me off what that this was still MY fault - rather than her giving me any credit for the fact that they were viewable at all!

Many years ago I was due to give a missionary slide show (old technology!) at a church on the Isle of Wight. The church supplied the projector and, when we switched it on, the bulb blew. Of course there was no spare.

So I had to describe my slides in words - and in fact that went down very well. But I didn't make a habit of it!

[ 30. January 2013, 15:31: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Avila
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Not present but in my locality -

Visiting minister asked if the little chapel had a screen for his presentation or whether to bring his own.

No-one thought to mention to him that this little rural chapel has no electricity!!

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http://aweebleswonderings.blogspot.com/

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venbede
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That's really sweet.

They last time I was asked to give a talk (to a secular organistaion) I get to the conference room and find I left my notes on the train.

I managed without. I bet I was better not just throwing quotes at them.

Projectors - aren't you glad they've invented Powerpoint? There was always one slide upside down or slipped down from its slot to jam the machine.

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Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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Baptist Trainfan
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The best thing I know on the difficulties in giving an illustrated talk in an unfamiliar venue is John Betjeman's "The Lecture". Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be available on-lne (?copyright) but it's in a collection of his works titled "Coming Home".

[ 31. January 2013, 12:20: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by venbede:

Projectors - aren't you glad they've invented Powerpoint?

No! It's crap. There are good programs for doing visuals in public talks, but puke-point isn;t it. And leSs than one person in fifty knows how to use it. And we see so much of it at work anyway - Sunday is the day of rest!

Serious point - never, ever, ever reply on any computer or AV kit working to make your talk. Use them by all means but PREPARE to work without them. Sooner or later they will fail you,

--------------------
Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Some more points:

- don't put too much text on each slide;
- don't read out what's on the slides;
- don't have tiny writing in the middle, surrounded by acres of blank space;
- don't have rogue apostrophes (or should I say apostrophe's)!

[ 31. January 2013, 13:38: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Adeodatus
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The key thing to remember if you're going to use Powerpoint in worship: if I'm in the congregation, please have a clear route between me and the nearest exit.

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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The Kat in the Hat
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Why?
Is it because you are unable to see/read the screen and would prefer to be given a book?
Would you make your preference known beforehand, or just walk out?

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Less is more ...

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Chamois
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Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
don't read out what's on the slides
Actually those of us with visual impairments appreciate having key points on a slide read aloud.

And so do people who don't know how to read. Which is about 50% of the membership at one of my friends' churches. And probably more common is other churches than we always realise.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Fair point. The comment I was making was really that the slides should back up and serve as a reminder to what is said.

What I hate is when the lecture consists purely of reading out the text on the slides - badly.

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Jengie jon

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Actually I heard a brilliant use for slides with a sermon. You need two projectors, on one you give all the references both Biblical and extra Biblical and on the other you give the cartoon version of the sermon.

Your actual sermon comes somewhere in between. The first is for the academics who want to know sources and such. The second is for those who struggle without something visual to look at and acts as a reinforcement for what is said.

Jengie

--------------------
"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Back to my blog

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Baptist Trainfan
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I like it! [Cool]
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leo
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Don't say what i heard last Sunday morning: 'The New Testament reading is from the New Testament. It's from Corinthians (no mention of which one) chapter 3, starting at verse 12, which you will find on page XXX in the New Testament section of your pew bibles.'

--------------------
My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Aravis
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For more high-church situations, this is the advice our vicar was given while training:

Sometimes, particularly in an unfamiliar church or using an unfamiliar form of service, you will find yourself in completely the wrong part of the church, with everyone looking at you, and no recollection of what you should be doing next. Simply turn to the nearest object - a candle, a statue, the church warden, a fire extinguisher - and bow reverently while you collect your thoughts, then walk to wherever you are meant to be. Nobody will question this.

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Zacchaeus
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One given to me by an ordinand friend, if you have done soemthing wrong or lost you way - silence or ceremony will save your a**.

Either go for a silence until you remember what is meant to be happening, or make a ceremonial procession to where you should be/need to pick up what you have lost etc

And the congregation will think it a deliberate part of the service

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Baptist Trainfan
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Ah, what delights and subterfuges are sadly unavailable to us Nonconformists! It's enough to send us up the candle ...

I don't quite know what a Baptist minister would do if they discovered that no-one had filled the baptistry before a service of baptism by full immersion. These usually takea couple of hours to fill, often with a hose and often "splashily". No amount of solemn bowing or invented ceremonial could disguise that particular sin of omission.

[ 15. February 2013, 21:40: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Jengie jon

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You could suddenly discover a good reason why the service is going to be conducted by tipping a bucket of warm water of the candidates head!

Jengie

--------------------
"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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A.Pilgrim
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
Actually I heard a brilliant use for slides with a sermon. You need two projectors, on one you give all the references both Biblical and extra Biblical and on the other you give the cartoon version of the sermon.

Your actual sermon comes somewhere in between. The first is for the academics who want to know sources and such. The second is for those who struggle without something visual to look at and acts as a reinforcement for what is said.

Jengie

I think that is a brilliant idea. But who draws the cartoons? I guess it's not a common talent among preachers/speakers, so one would need someone else, from the congregation perhaps. For example, I could do the academic reference bit, but not drawing, no no no... [Hot and Hormonal]
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Augustine the Aleut
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From MWing, first remember that not everyone present has the same command of English (or whatever the language might be) as you do. Modulate your voice and speak distinctly. An hour of coaching by a voice teacher would do the world of good.

If you expect people to follow a text on a screen, do ensure that it is of a font size which can be read.

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Stumbling Pilgrim
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Offering this as a chance for you all to have a good laugh at my expense:-
When bringing a Powerpoint presentation on a USB stick;
1. Make sure Adeodatus has left the room (if Adeodatus is not actually present you can skip this stage [Biased] ).
2. Make sure you have actually saved said presentation to said USB stick. This will save you ten minutes of fruitless searching the stick and a dash home to save it properly, returning to the ironic cheers of the assembled worshippers who have been having a lovely sing-song to fill the time until you get back.

[Hot and Hormonal]

[ 17. February 2013, 17:45: Message edited by: Stumbling Pilgrim ]

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Stumbling in the Master's footsteps as best I can.

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Qoheleth.

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quote:
Originally posted by Stumbling Pilgrim:

When bringing a Powerpoint presentation on a USB stick;
1. Make sure Adeodatus has left the room (if Adeodatus is not actually present you can skip this stage [Biased] ).
2. Make sure you have actually saved said presentation to said USB stick. This will save you ten minutes of fruitless searching the stick and a dash home to save it properly, returning to the ironic cheers of the assembled worshippers who have been having a lovely sing-song to fill the time until you get back.

3. Make sure you know what else is on the stick.

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The Benedictine Community at Alton Abbey offers a friendly, personal service for the exclusive supply of Rosa Mystica incense.

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Gextvedde
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If you are wearing a small microphone around your neck which is attached to the PA system make sure you take it off before leaving the front of the church. Otherwise you'll do what I did and simultaneously garrotte yourself whilst falling on your arse.

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"We must learn to see that our temperament is a gift of God, a talent with which we must trade until he comes" Thomas Merton

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Nenya
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quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
quote:
Originally posted by Laurelin:
And do not use intercessions to push a particular agenda of your own (owwwww). Do not preach a blinkin' mini-sermon.

Also, God read the Sunday Times even before you did this morning. So it's unnecessary to pray, as I once heard - "Heavenly Father, as you may know there was an earthquake yesterday ..."
And he's read the Bible. So there's no need for reminders such as, "Lord, it says in your word that the last shall be first and that you suffered little children and so we pray for those who will pinch all the biscuits before the adults get there at coffee break."

I'm completely in agreement about the apologies as well. It's just not inspiring when a speaker begins his talk with "Well, this is a huge subject to cover and I've done my best and spent hours preparing, but I've had a busy week and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to convey what I want to in the 20 minutes given to me." Let's all pack up and go home now then. [Roll Eyes] I remember watching an interview with Kenneth Williams in which he said people should always present things with the attitude that "This is going to be brilliant, you'd better get a load of this" though there's a fine line to be drawn between that and cockiness, which is also a turn-off. [Biased]

Nen - Carry On Fan.

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They told me I was delusional. I nearly fell off my unicorn.

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womanspeak
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Prayers need to reflect the gathered communities concerns and contexts.

Teachable moments for the children were lost in an ancient prayer for the blessing of the Christmas Crib which went on and on full of theological jargon and gravitas. This contrasted dramatically with another parish in the Diocese who encourage family groups to prepare intercessions which are shared by all members of the family young and old.

A creative response to intercession last week when I was visiting a church I've MW'd before, was the writing of prayers for Lent during reflective music, including a beautiful rendition of the Lord's Prayer. These were placed in a box in the sanctuary and later each member of the congregation took one home to pray about. However the Rector did call it a lucky drip at one point and a little boy, the last to come forward looked disappointedly at the pieces of paper which didn't seem like lucky dip toys to him.

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from the bush

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Qoheleth.:
quote:
Originally posted by Stumbling Pilgrim:

When bringing a Powerpoint presentation on a USB stick;
1. Make sure Adeodatus has left the room (if Adeodatus is not actually present you can skip this stage [Biased] ).
2. Make sure you have actually saved said presentation to said USB stick. This will save you ten minutes of fruitless searching the stick and a dash home to save it properly, returning to the ironic cheers of the assembled worshippers who have been having a lovely sing-song to fill the time until you get back.

3. Make sure you know what else is on the stick.
4. Make sure you have brought the correct stick.

5. Don't assume that your presentation, nicely prepared in PowerPoint, will necessarily work perfectly if the computer is running Open Office-based software (Wordpress) - especially if you've got fancy animations. Be prepared for a few surprises!

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by womanspeak:
However the Rector did call it a lucky drip at one point.

We have had leaks in our church roof and we don't think they're lucky at all. [Frown]
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The Intrepid Mrs S
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Don't do what happened in our church on Sunday morning, and follow one young girl's moving testimony about her battle with anorexia, with a reading about Jesus in the wilderness fasting for 40 days and 40 nights.

(Whoever thought that the beginning of Lent was a good time to run a national awareness week on eating disorders?)

Mrs. S, struggling with that one

--------------------
Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Jengie jon

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Unfortunately for those who don't want repetition of what is in the Bible in prayer, please note that reminding God who God is goes right back to Abraham! Moses was an expert at it and there are a fair few psalms that recount the Exodus narrative again. Telling God what he already knows is an ancient custon. My reading is that God actually does not mind that.

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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Adeodatus
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
Unfortunately for those who don't want repetition of what is in the Bible in prayer, please note that reminding God who God is goes right back to Abraham! Moses was an expert at it and there are a fair few psalms that recount the Exodus narrative again. Telling God what he already knows is an ancient custon. My reading is that God actually does not mind that.

Jengie

As a rabbi I used to know once put it - "There's no harm once in a while reminding Him of the terms of the contract."

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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leo
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Intercessions like ours, yesterday, that lasted 14 minutes.

--------------------
My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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The Phantom Flan Flinger
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In my church a few weeks ago:

"The children and young people will now leave for their groups, and we will sing Give Thanks."

Pause.

Laughter slowly builds to a cresendo.....

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http://www.faith-hope-and-confusion.com/

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Intercessions like ours, yesterday, that lasted 14 minutes.

Doesn't the UN Convention on Human Rights have something to say about that sort of thing?

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
Unfortunately for those who don't want repetition of what is in the Bible in prayer, please note that reminding God who God is goes right back to Abraham! Moses was an expert at it and there are a fair few psalms that recount the Exodus narrative again. Telling God what he already knows is an ancient custon. My reading is that God actually does not mind that.

Jengie

No, but some of us might. As the Irish mother said when the visiting Bishop told her not to trouble taking her crying baby out of Mass on the grounds that 'he's not bothering me': "Maybe not- but you're bothering him!"

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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Jengie jon

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The logical end of that argument is that as you are Anglican the priest should say at the eucharistic prayer something like "the same as last week" and go straight to the serving of elements.

Jengie

--------------------
"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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Zacchaeus
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quote:
Originally posted by Gextvedde:
If you are wearing a small microphone around your neck which is attached to the PA system make sure you take it off before leaving the front of the church. Otherwise you'll do what I did and simultaneously garrotte yourself whilst falling on your arse.

And if you are wearing a radio mike please turn it off after the service is finished - especially it you need to go to the toilet..... (this happened years ago, when radio Microphones were not that common, at a church I used to attend)

Current vicar forgot to turn it off, when going into the vestry post service, and those left in the church heard a discussion about this weeks 'takings'

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Avila
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quote:
Originally posted by The Intrepid Mrs S:
Don't do what happened in our church on Sunday morning, and follow one young girl's moving testimony about her battle with anorexia, with a reading about Jesus in the wilderness fasting for 40 days and 40 nights.

(Whoever thought that the beginning of Lent was a good time to run a national awareness week on eating disorders?)

Mrs. S, struggling with that one

Campaigners who don't do church - and to be fair the special awareness day/week diary gets pretty cramped across the year so they may have had limited options.

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Baptist Trainfan
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And it's been around this time of year for some time.
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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
The logical end of that argument is that as you are Anglican the priest should say at the eucharistic prayer something like "the same as last week" and go straight to the serving of elements.

Jengie

That's a fair point. And of course the Prayer Book collects which I love are full of it- God knows perfectly well that He is the one from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed, and so on. I suppose that what I had in mind was the 'newsround' approach to intercessions, which sometimes smacks to me of a rather proprietary attitude to God. on the other hand, when (as in the collects and elsewhere) we are repeating things essentially for our own benefit, that is a different matter.
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Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
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quote:
Originally posted by Zacchaeus:
And if you are wearing a radio mike please turn it off after the service is finished - especially it you need to go to the toilet..... (this happened years ago, when radio Microphones were not that common, at a church I used to attend)

In a nearby church, the Rector (with brand new clip-on microphone) visited the men's room while the curate was preaching.
[Eek!]

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"...that is generally a matter for Pigwidgeon, several other consenting adults, a bottle of cheap Gin and the odd giraffe."
~Tortuf

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churchgeek

Have candles, will pray
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Don't say what i heard last Sunday morning: 'The New Testament reading is from the New Testament. It's from Corinthians (no mention of which one) chapter 3, starting at verse 12, which you will find on page XXX in the New Testament section of your pew bibles.'

And if you're the lector, and your church uses a set introduction to the reading (e.g., "A Reading from the Book of Genesis"), don't just make up your own introduction for it, such as "This is a wonderful story from Genesis" or even, "The reading this morning is taken from Genesis." Just read what's on the page.

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I reserve the right to change my mind.

My article on the Virgin of Vladimir

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churchgeek

Have candles, will pray
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
Actually I heard a brilliant use for slides with a sermon. You need two projectors, on one you give all the references both Biblical and extra Biblical and on the other you give the cartoon version of the sermon.

Your actual sermon comes somewhere in between. The first is for the academics who want to know sources and such. The second is for those who struggle without something visual to look at and acts as a reinforcement for what is said.

Jengie

For those who don't use slides (PowerPoint or otherwise), and even for those that do, having references in the worship leaflet is a nice way to let people look further into whatever it was you shared with them in the sermon. Our Dean has recently started doing that. She's an academic, so it probably just seemed natural to her. But if she cites an author, the citation is listed in the leaflet. If she references a painting, its artist, title, and a thumbnail image of it are in there. People can then go home and look stuff up if they want to - and it lets them be more focused during the sermon, not having to try to remember that poet's name or having to write down a reference. And people who don't care can just ignore it.

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I reserve the right to change my mind.

My article on the Virgin of Vladimir

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Adam.

Like as the
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While we're on the subject of lectors: don't turn away from the microphone in an effort to be more 'inclusive' with your eye-contact -- you're now excluding everyone because no-one can hear you.

In a previous church of mine, the presider's chair was directly behind the ambo. We had one lector who would always turn around to read to the priest at some randomly selected point during the reading. In a way, it was a wonderful way to show that we all stand under the gospel and the presider stands in need of the evangelizing word just as much as everyone else in the room. But, if you're turned with the mike behind your head, the Word gets thoroughly quenched (if you'll pardon a mixed metaphor.)

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Ave Crux, Spes Unica!
Preaching blog

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by churchgeek:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Don't say what i heard last Sunday morning: 'The New Testament reading is from the New Testament. It's from Corinthians (no mention of which one) chapter 3, starting at verse 12, which you will find on page XXX in the New Testament section of your pew bibles.'

And if you're the lector, and your church uses a set introduction to the reading (e.g., "A Reading from the Book of Genesis"), don't just make up your own introduction for it, such as "This is a wonderful story from Genesis" or even, "The reading this morning is taken from Genesis." Just read what's on the page.
Indeed. Say the Black, do the Red, and you won't go wrong.
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Percy B
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quote:
Originally posted by churchgeek:
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
Actually I heard a brilliant use for slides with a sermon. You need two projectors, on one you give all the references both Biblical and extra Biblical and on the other you give the cartoon version of the sermon.

Your actual sermon comes somewhere in between. The first is for the academics who want to know sources and such. The second is for those who struggle without something visual to look at and acts as a reinforcement for what is said.

Jengie

For those who don't use slides (PowerPoint or otherwise), and even for those that do, having references in the worship leaflet is a nice way to let people look further into whatever it was you shared with them in the sermon. Our Dean has recently started doing that. She's an academic, so it probably just seemed natural to her. But if she cites an author, the citation is listed in the leaflet. If she references a painting, its artist, title, and a thumbnail image of it are in there. People can then go home and look stuff up if they want to - and it lets them be more focused during the sermon, not having to try to remember that poet's name or having to write down a reference. And people who don't care can just ignore it.
I am sure that is helpful in some situations. However, for a congregation with very mixed educational achievement levels it can serve to emphasis the educational differences. Some may not be able to read, some may not have access to Internet / libraries.

I also wonder just what proportion of people go home and look things up after ther sermon. I have, I know, but honestly cannot remember the last time I did.

Take home material is good, I certainly do not deny that, but I hesitate at it being too academic. I like material that encourages action or prayer. I like the idea of having the poem or image available.

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Mary, a priest??

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cattyish

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I post this at the risk of becoming a bit ecclesiantc/ kerymanic/ purgatorial. Is prayer telling God what he doesn't know, or telling us what we think God might want to think about right now? Oh dear. My brain just shut down.

I know we're supposed to pray, but the definition of prayer seems as easy to pin down as a wet cat.

Cattyish, doggedly continuing to talk at God.

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...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Ariel
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quote:
Originally posted by cattyish:
I post this at the risk of becoming a bit ecclesiantc/ kerymanic/ purgatorial. Is prayer telling God what he doesn't know, or telling us what we think God might want to think about right now? Oh dear. My brain just shut down.

I know we're supposed to pray, but the definition of prayer seems as easy to pin down as a wet cat.

Cattyish, doggedly continuing to talk at God.

There's the making of a good thread discussion in that by itself. Do you feel like starting one in Purgatory? It sounds like the sort of thing that would get a lot of posts.

(No worries if not, but as discussion topics go, it sounds as if it has mileage.)

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Graven Image
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If you have been invited to preach in an unfamiliar church, and have been told to be sure and stand behind the pulpit and speak into the microphone so that you can be heard and video recorded, make sure that the pulpit is not way taller then you are before going up to preach. ( no I am not short, and yes their regular pastor was well over 6 feet and had the pulpit made to his needs)

Answer, Stop and ask for a stool, yes the kitchen step stool will do thank you.

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The Phantom Flan Flinger
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Our minister's wife has what she refers to as "preaching heels" for that very reason.

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http://www.faith-hope-and-confusion.com/

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